Staff SGT Donald Wayne West, Jr., enlisted in the United States Army National Guard on September 11, 2001. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Company A of the 150th Combat Engineers served active duty Aug 29, 2004, until Dec 30, 2005. SSGT West returned to college in January, 2006. He married Lauren Ritchie June 9, 2006, at Seaside, Fla., and they have three children. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Day 190 - Faces of Victory

Ellen Walker sent news this morning of her Marine friend’s scheduled return from his seven-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Starting their journey home today, the Seahawks flew more than 2,500 hours and logged more than 600 sorties during the deployment. The Marines will arrive in eastern North Carolina, proud of the job they did having made their mark on history.

“I remember seeing pictures of the Iraqis being allowed to vote for the first time,” said Cpl. Michael W. Gerencser, a native of Richmond, Va. “Each one had their finger dyed in ink. Seeing their people come together to help create a new democracy was indeed a unique experience,” he recalled. “I know for certain that we are bringing a country together and providing a future some that never thought it was possible. I feel like I have made a mark on history and can say I made someone’s family that much safer.”

Welcome home, Heroes!

Remember the faces of victory?